The above photo is of a sunrise taken from the parking lot at the end of Blackwell Road in Manning Park, BC. This moment is symbolic of the new year ahead; new goals, new ambitions, and a new start.
Over the last few days I thought of sharing my favourite moments in 2014. As I started flipping through pictures, I realized the ones that stir emotions do not include ‘king of the world’ views, tremendous mountains, or vigorous goals. They are moments that simply made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Each one holds an essence of value, pride, and beauty of the vast landscape that surrounds us.
I tried to keep my list to 10 moments plus 1 exception and posted as soon as possible, before the list grew to 15, 20, or more. In no particular order, at the end of the year, here are 11 of my (many) favourite moments of 2014:
1. Grandma on the Sea-to-Sky gondola.
My Grandma currently resides in New Zealand. She doesn’t understand why I hike and often warns me not to go because of animals (specifically, bears). During her visit, we took her up the sea-to-sky gondola. This was the best opportunity to get her on a mountain and experience the outdoors for herself. I’m very happy to say she was in awe of the views. As we rode up, crossed the suspension bridge, and walked a flat trail, I realized I get my sense of adventure from her. She’s a fragile woman; she doesn’t hike and she is afraid of heights, but she pushed through, wide-eyed and smiling the entire day.
2. A cold morning at the Bowen Lookout, Cypress Mountain.
I took a few friends to a new place; their expressions and excitement for the view was contagious.
3. Cold nights by the fire.
Whether it’s at the beginning of a weekend in the mountains or at the end of a long hike, sharing a campfire, with someone you love, heals the soul.
4. Sunrise on Winter’s Solstice, en route to Uhuru Peak.
To date, this was the coldest night I’ve endured.
“As we continued, I saw something from the corner of my eye and immediately stopped. There was a glacier beside me reflecting a fiery orange colour. My heart dropped as I realized where this glow was coming from. The next few moments passed by in slow motion; I spun around to look behind me and there it was, on a perfect Winter’s Solstice morning, the sunrise. I burst into tears as I watched it light up the horizon. It was, by far, the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever witnessed and this was, by far, the warmest I’ve ever felt.”
Details of our trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro: https://www.ashikaparsad.com/mount-kilimanjaro-the-trip-report/
5. Meeting Henk, our trek leader, on the way down from Uhuru Peak.
This trip was overcome with moments and emotions. My most vivid memory was meeting the leader on the way down from the summit. Throughout our entire trek, Henk wore a smile from ear to ear and never let up on getting us to Uhuru Peak. I was a little surprised to see the same ear-to-ear smile at 5,800+ meters, when I could barely stand upright!
6. Hiking in the Jim Creek Headwaters, South Chilcotin.
A few recon trips to the Jim Creek area helped us nail down a long planned summit. On our next trip, we plan on reaching the top.
Remnants of the great Canadian jade rush, old mining camps, spurs leading to mined outcrops, and glistening jade slopes make this area an absolute *gem* (lol).
First recon trip: https://www.ashikaparsad.com/into-the-shulaps-september-long-weekend-2014/
Second recon trip: https://www.ashikaparsad.com/shulaps-october-4-2014/
7. Night shots at Manning Park.
After a solo hike up Frosty Mountain, Ryan met me in Manning Park for a car-camp. He came bearing popcorn, hot chocolate, and warm soup for us to cook for dinner.
Our goal was to try to catch the meteors, but we missed it because of the moon and overcast skies. Nevertheless, with all of his thoughtfulness, Ryan made it a magical night.
8. Helm Creek Headwaters & Cinder Cone.
Unintentionally, this turned out to be my first through-hike.
The headwaters area was on my to-hike list for quite a while. On my way up, before the creek crossing, I ran into a friend who was headed for Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk via Helm Creek (yes, she is a machine). She ended up turning around with me to skirt around the headwaters, summit Cinder Cone, and head back via Helm Creek campgrounds.
Our full story: https://www.ashikaparsad.com/tag/helm-creek/
Beautiful sunsets are what keep me coming back to these trails.
10. Night Hike at Garibaldi Lake.
In September, a group of us hiked up to Garibaldi Lake for a geology talk.
My sister just completed her BSc in Environmental Studies and I thought this would be a great experience to share.
11. North Shore Rescue’s Annual Team Leader Hike, finished off with “Le Dine en Mountaine”
No ‘before’ shots for this one, only ‘after’. What you don’t see is the sweaty mess everyone was in after hiking up to Paton Lookout, in their hiking clothes, and having to change into formal wear for dinner. Needless to say, everyone cleaned up good!
Through Ryan, I’ve had the opportunity to share a handful of experiences with NSR this year, they are truly a remarkable bunch.
Thats a wrap! On to the next one…